LAHAINA » Alas, such is the price of first-round failure in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Two teams — including host Chaminade — got a dose of added difficulty on the second day of the tournament because of shortcomings on the first.
While all eight teams had minimal time to recover from their first games, the Silverswords had a particularly brutal turnaround, having to play Wichita State with only about 14 hours elapsed from CU’s narrow first-round loss to No. 2 Michigan State. The Shockers beat the ‘Swords 79-58.
The most glaring statistic was rebounding, as WSU dominated Division II CU to the tune of 43-23 on the backboards.
"I thought our guys came out flat. We were definitely tired," Chaminade coach Matt Mahar said. "They totally killed us on the glass, that’s the one thing I’m most disappointed about."
Wichita State almost had a full 24 hours to recover. Could the rebounding be blamed all on the short rest?
"Everything has to do with the quick turnaround for us," Mahar replied. "We’re limited in numbers to start with. We’re smaller. We don’t have the depth that they have. We’re obviously worn down on Day 2. We played hard (Monday) night. No matter who we played today, we were going to be worn down. But that’s not the reason we lost this game."
Perhaps not. Virginia had a similar turnaround after being routed at the hands of No. 13 Washington on Monday night, but soundly defeated Oklahoma on the shortest of rest yesterday, 74-56 in the other consolation semifinal.
LOUD AND PROUD
For a moment, it seemed the legions of Kentucky faithful had met their match in Washington fans.
Near the end of UK’s game against UW, with the game in the balance, both teams’ fans broke out into signature cheers — "Go Big Blue" against "Let’s go Huskies."
The outnumbered fans in purple were eventually drowned out by those in blue, but not for lack of trying. It was deafening in the Lahaina Civic Center.
Coaches from both teams lauded the NCAA Tournament-level game atmosphere.
NO VIRGINIA, NOT THIS TIME
It just wasn’t to be.
Virginia’s win over Oklahoma prevented a potential matchup that couldn’t be ignored — Chaminade-Virginia.
Chaminade defeated top-ranked Virginia in 1982, the impetus for the creation of the Maui Invitational.
The Silverswords instead drew the Sooners in the seventh-place game today at 9:30 a.m.
Virginia came back to Maui in 1984 — the first year of the Maui Classic — and in 1996 and 2002. UVA and CU played in the first round of ’02, an 86-76 Cavaliers win.